’twas the day after christmas and it’s time to catch up

Happy Day After Christmas!

I really don’t know where to start.

First, I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas Day. I know we did.

I had a whole range of posts prepared in my head to fill the week, but things got crazy. I had taken Mr PugRunner to the Bahamas as an early 40th birthday present. His birthday in on January 1 and it’s very easy for him to get lost in the holiday shuffle. We have been having little parties here at the house with a few friends, but after last year, when he ended up getting a speeding ticket and our friends showed up to find our downstairs toilet with the plumber on our front lawn (to this day we have no idea what was clogging it), I decided it was time to change things up to make it extra special.

We got an amazing deal on hotel and airfare to Atlantis. We had visited the Bahamas about eight years ago and it was not the best time. We stayed in a Radisson on Cable Beach and I ended up with a wicked case of food poisoning. The hotel was pretty awful as far as service and maintenance and so I vowed that I would only go back if we got to stay on Paradise Island. Fortunately, the stars aligned, and we were able to make it happen (hugely in part to my parents, who were going to be in town and were more than happy to babysit for us while we were gone).

The plan was to be back on December 22, giving us more than enough time to bake cookies, wrap presents, finish last minute shopping and take a breather from travel. You know what they say about the best laid plans, though.

We arrived at the airport on Sunday, with plenty of time to go before our 4:35 flight back to the states. We checked in, cleared security and customs and made our way to the airport bar to watch some of the Dolphins game and wait for our boarding call.

All was well until we backed away from the gate. We were next in line to take off when the pilot announced that there was a maintenance issue and we would have to return to the gate. I’m a bad, nervous, anxious flyer, and this made me sick to my stomach. The crew opened the door and the next thing I knew, a passenger was marching up the aisle, saying she was not flying on this plane and that she wanted her bag from the cargo area. I had a bad, bad feeling, and I was almost relieved when, about an hour later, they asked everyone to deplane so we could be more comfortable as they worked.

And, while I wanted to get home, I was even more relieved when the crew broke the news that we would not be flying anywhere on the plane in question.

Not everyone agreed. Passengers were angry and frustrated and annoyed. The gate agents worked frantically to create a game plan, but the news was not great. Not only were there no planes available that night (it was about 10:00 pm and the airport was closed), everything flying into our airport of departure (where our car was parked, and which was two hours from home), was booked until late Christmas Eve. We did have an option of flying the next day into an airport three hours south of our original airport and then finding ground transportation to our car, and in the meantime, the airline would continue working on getting an additional plane added to the route to accommodate us. We figured that getting back into the country was half the battle, so we took the deal.

After getting rebooked, security escorted a group of about 20 of us through the bowels of the airport to collect our suitcases and transportation and hotel vouchers. The airline was providing taxis and busses to and from a hotel, $100 in meals, as well as a night’s accommodation. We snagged a cab with a lovely older couple and traveled to the designated hotel.

Which, ironically, was the hotel where Mr PugRunner and I had stayed eight years ago. Only under new management.

Darn the luck.

I won’t complain. The room was fine, the shower worked, and the staff was lovely. We were careful to only eat at Starbucks (we just needed to grab breakfast), just in case. And while I would never opt to stay there on a vacation, it was fine.

After a somewhat restless night, Mr PugRunner got up early to try to call the airline from the lobby to see if there were any other options for us. Luck was with us. A new plane had been commissioned to fly us to our original airport, and we raced back to the airport to ensure we could get booked on that flight.

It was a long day in the airport. The report from home was that little man was pretty upset that we weren’t there and we were so anxious to get home to him. Agonizingly, the plane was late, and then had to be fueled and gone over with a fine tooth comb, so we took off about 90 minutes after planned, but finally, we were on the ground in the States and ready to drive home.

Needless to say, it was a wonderful homecoming, but a pretty busy and stressful Christmas Eve. And I am still trying to get back on track with everything that I meant to get done on Monday and Tuesday. It’s probably going to take a few days, so please bear with me. I can’t wait to share with you highlights from our amazing tropical getaway, as well as how I did with running on vacation, Christmas and my first experience volunteering at a race.

Have you ever had a horrible vacation experience? Did you ever get stuck somewhere while away from home?

How do you do with flying?Β 

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20 Responses to ’twas the day after christmas and it’s time to catch up

  1. Amy says:

    We got stuck in Orlando coming back from Key West, back in 2006. The plane we boarded in Key West was VERY late arriving, thus starting the chain reaction of delays and missed flights. We missed our flight from Orlando to Columbus by 10 minutes. I will never EVER fly Delta Connect again. It was me, the hubs and my IL’s. We were put in (separate, thankfully) hotel rooms and given (not enough) in food vouchers. I love flying and traveling to visit friends and exciting places!

  2. Carly says:

    Yikes what an ordeal! I am glad you guys made it back safe and sound, and I hope you both enjoyed your trip!!
    Carly recently posted…Heart & CourageMy Profile

  3. Ohhh my goodness! It sounds like you and I are similar when it comes to traveling. I’m very anxious as well. I just want to get there and get off! That must not have been easy but it sounds like you kept a positive attitude and got through it. I’m sure you were thrilled to be home!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Karen @karenlovestorun
    Karen @karenlovestorun recently posted…The Last Long RunMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It was horribly stressful. I hate being so edgy around airplanes, but ugh. The older I get, the worse it is. It doesn’t keep me from traveling though, so that’s a good thing.

  4. Diana says:

    I think I said this on Facebook, but it sounds like something out of a movie! I’m so glad you were able to get home. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
    Diana recently posted…BeliefMy Profile

  5. I have had horrible experiences flying like this too. At least you guys had a good time in the Bahamas! I got stranded in the Atlanta airport overnight, but the airline was so shitty. They just left us there. No hotel vouchers, no food vouchers, no word of anything being refunded to us. I slept on my purse in the airport and waited until the ticket counters opened up…and they opened up an hour late! It was HORRIBLE! I will never fly that airline (or through Atlanta) again if I never have to!
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Merry Christmas!My Profile

  6. Yay for a little get-away, but bummer on the problems getting home! I’m looking forward to reading about your trip and your tropical running adventures!

    I love to fly, and have only had one major flight related story. The four of us were flying to California for vacation in July several years ago. The plane was way overbooked, but we didn’t opt to take the numerous freebies to allow us to be moved to a later flight. In hind sight we should have… We boarded the plane only to sit and wait for a mechanical problem to be fixed. It got it fixed and we taxied to the tarmac just as a storm was approaching. The storm was so bad that all flights were canceled. We ended up driving home that night (we only live ten minutes from the airport). Our cul de-sac was full of hail that had also damaged our roof and siding, lightening had struck near our house and blown out ceiling fans, computer equipment, etc. What a night! The next morning we got up and went on a run to assess the damage and marvel in ice (hail) clogging up storm drains in mid-July. We flew out later that day and worried about the insurance claims when we got home!
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…And That’s a Wrap!My Profile

  7. Bahaha oh my goodness I’m dying over this story, bless your heart!!! Such a pain too, right at the holidays!!! Talk about a funny memory though, or not so funny πŸ™‚ A trip to the Bahamas sounds like a great birthday present, glad you were able to make it happen!
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Christmas 2013: Our DayMy Profile

  8. I always dislike flying because I feel like I have no control and that stresses me out a bit. Your situation would have freaked me out for sure. So glad you made it back in time for Christmas.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Holidays Deserve TreatsMy Profile

  9. Lisa says:

    If nothing else, it was a Christmas you will never forget! πŸ˜€
    Lisa recently posted…Fa la la la la, la la la la!My Profile

  10. Suzan says:

    One of our worst travel experiences was actually at Atlantis!
    I hope that your stay was better than ours πŸ™‚ I’m a terrible flyer. I would rather spend 10 hours in a car than get on a plane, however, I am the only one who feels that way in my house. They rest of my family loves to fly…sigh.
    Suzan recently posted…2013 Highlight ReelMy Profile

  11. jan says:

    Geez, what an ordeal! I’m glad you are home safe!
    jan recently posted…My Favorite Christmas PictureMy Profile

  12. I’m the same way! I’m a very nervous flyer, and hearing “maintenance issues” only amplifies my stress. The holidays are always busier and more hectic than anticipated, so this sounds par for the course! What a crazy ordeal! Glad to hear you made it home safely in time for the holiday! πŸ™‚
    Amy @ Coffee, Scarves, and Running Shoes recently posted…Kiawah Island Half Marathon Recap Part 1: Second Half Marathon Jitters and the “Beachy” Thing I DidMy Profile

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